Admissions Procedures

Braeside is a privately-owned independent school for girls from 2½ to 16. We expect our pupils to stay with us until they complete their GCSEs at age 16 and would not normally accept children where it is known that they intend to leave at an earlier age.

These procedures apply to candidates applying to join the School at any point.

The admissions procedures differ depending on the age of your child. However, the process usually begins with a visit to the school, either on one of our Open Events or on a pre-arranged personal tour.

Prospective parents are always welcome to contact the Admissions Registrar to check the availability of places and discuss their application in more detail.

Registration

Parents are invited to tour the School and meet with the Headmistress to discuss their children.  In order to secure a place on our waiting list parents will need to complete the Registration Form and return it with the non-refundable deposit of £40 to the School Office.

A place on the waiting list does not guarantee admission. The School must feel reasonably sure that it will be able to educate and develop the prospective pupil to the best of her potential and in line with the general standards achieved by the pupil’s peers.

Entry into the Early Years (Lower Kindergarten, Upper Kindergarten & Reception – children aged 2½ to 5)

At all points of entry in the Early Years, the School sets its own tests as appropriate through extensive informal observations that take place by one or more members of staff during an extended Pre-Offer Taster Session.

We are looking to admit children who:

  • Are able to interact appropriately with children of a similar age
  • Are able to interact appropriately with adults
  • Displays a level of behaviour that meets the school’s expectations
  • Are able to listen to directions and follow instructions
  • Are able to concentrate on set activities
  • Are able to use the toilet independently, and are dry at the point of entry
  • Are able to use language appropriate to their age.

In all cases there will be a discussion with the parents by the Headmistress, normally at least a year before the desired first term, to establish that the School is right for the child.

Children in Kindergarten  start with a minimum of 5 mornings per week and have the opportunity to increase their time with us over the course of the academic year. They are encouraged to attend full time mornings by the Summer Term before they start in Reception.

Entry into Years 1 to 6 (children aged 5 to 10)

At all points of entry from Year 1 to Year 16, the School sets its own tests as appropriate through informal classroom observations and formal academic assessments. The School is looking for pupils who show potential as well as those who are academically able.

We will only admit a child who:

  • Has met the academic criteria
  • Shows the capacity to engage with the learning
  • Is able to interact productively with children of a similar age
  • Does not display a level of behaviour deemed to disrupt the education of the other pupils

In all cases there will be a general interview to explore the candidate’s interests, attitude to school, personal qualities, ability to contribute to the school community, support available at home and any relevant connection with the School.

Entry into Years 7 to 10 (children aged 11 to 15)

Entry into the Seniors from Year 7 upwards is by formal Entrance Examination, with papers in Mathematics, English and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

The following procedures are applied:

  • A tour of the school for the family
  • Interview for the parents with the Headmistress to explore the support available at home and any relevant connection with the School
  • Interview for the pupil with the Headmistress to explore the candidate’s interests, attitude to school, personal qualities, ability to contribute to the school community
  • Entrance Examination with papers in Mathematics, English and Non-Verbal Reasoning
  • Confidential report from the previous school
  • Copies of previous school reports

The School does not normally accept new pupils into Year 10 beyond the start of the Autumn Term or into Year 11.

We will only admit a child who:

  • Has met the academic criteria
  • Shows the capacity to engage with the learning
  • Is able to interact productively with children of a similar age
  • Does not display a level of behaviour deemed to disrupt the education of the other pupils.

Additional Factors

The School is oversubscribed in many areas.  If we need to decide between two or more candidates who meet our admission requirements, after all appropriate allowances and special consideration has been given, we may give preference to:

  • A child who already has a sibling in the school or whose parent is a former pupil here
  • A child whose parent is a current member of our staff
  • A child with a particular skill, talent or aptitude
  • A child who will stay at the School until age 16.

We recognise that a candidate’s performance may be affected by particular circumstances, eg:

  • If she is unwell when taking tests or has had a lengthy absence from her school
  • If there are particular family circumstances such as a recent bereavement
  • If there is a relevant educational history, for example education outside the British system
  • If the applicant has a disability or specific learning difficulties
  • If English is not the candidate’s first language.

In any of these cases, we may request further information such as a medical certificate, educational psychologist’s report or any family history as we consider necessary to make a fair assessment.

The School will not normally accept children with challenging behaviour or who have been required to leave another nursery, school or college due to unacceptable levels of behaviour.

Character References

At all points of entry the candidate’s current school or nursery will be asked to provide a written reference as to the candidate’s academic ability, attitude and behaviour, involvement in the School Community, talents and interest, and any other special circumstances such as special educational needs, or a disability. The reference may also include the results of tests taken at the school.

Disclosures

Parents must as soon as possible disclose any particular known or suspected circumstances relating to their child’s health, allergies, disabilities or learning difficulties.

Scholarships at 11+ (Year 7)

Several part-scholarships may be awarded as a result of the examination and interview process. These may be awarded for ability in Art, Drama, Music and Sport as well as for higher academic ability.

Acceptance of an offer

If a place is offered, to confirm the acceptance of the place, parents will be asked to complete an Acceptance Form and return it with a non-refundable deposit of £500 to secure the child’s place. The deposit is deducted from the first term’s account.

Parents of children joining the School in the Kindergarten are invited to an informal welcome meeting in the term prior to their child’s entry to the School.

Essex County Council Early Years Grant

Braeside School participates in Essex County Council’s Early Years Development Plan, under which all pupils in the term after they are three years of age until the term in which they are five are eligible to receive a reduction on fees, as authorised by the Essex County Council Grants Office, who refund the money to the School. The School administers the scheme on behalf of its families.